We conduct research to understand the causes and consequences of violence; to develop, adapt and evaluate interventions to reduce violence; and to improve research methodology in the field of child protection.
We are mainly social epidemiologists, but span a range of disciplines. We work closely with colleagues in social science and anthropology, medical statistics, economics and education.
We publish in a range of academic journals and work with partners to produce materials for non-academic audiences.
We take a public health approach to child protection, and our research is conducted mainly with partners in low and middle income countries. Much of our work is focused on primary prevention of violence and other adverse health conditions among the general population of children and adolescents. We also conduct research with those identified as high risk, or who are already receiving child protective or other services.
Evaluation of interventions
Much of our recent and current work is focused around development and rigorous testing of school-based violence prevention strategies. We are also interested in community based prevention strategies, and in how to respond effectively to improve health outcomes for those who have experienced violence.
Understanding the causes of violence
We also conduct research to understand the underlying causes of who is at increased risk of violence, how violence leads to poor outcomes, and to understand resilience among those who have experienced violence.
Methods and methodological research
We use a range of epidemiological and social science methods to generate rigorous evidence to inform policy and practice. These include randomised controlled trials, cross-sectional and cohort studies, and qualitative research.
We do evidence synthesis and modelling to estimate the prevalence and effects of different forms of violence against children globally. Methodologically, we undertake research to understand how to ethically approach research in child protection, how to ensure children and adolescents are able to disclose their experiences to researchers, and on how to measure experience and use of different forms of violence in different settings.
We partner with local and international NGOs, local government, local and international academic institutions, and various donors. Partners and donors include the UK MRC, DfID, Wellcome Trust, UBS Foundation, Save the Children, Plan International, Graines de Paix, and Raising Voices, Makerere University, the AfriChild Center, MRC-UVRI Uganda, and others.
- Child-friendly Catholic Schools Study in Zimbabwe (CCSS-Z)
- Pilot Trial of Good School Toolkit for secondary schools
- Contexts of Violence in Adolescence Cohort (CoVAC)
- Preventing Violence Against Children in Schools (PVACS) in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp
- Promoting inclusion in decent work for Ugandan young people
For general questions about our work please contact Prof Karen Devries. For project specific questions you can find contact information under each project page.